2 Timothy 3:1-5
Memorise 2 Timothy 3:2
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…”
Ask yourself honestly, who is the one person in the world that you care about the most? Who do you spend the most effort to please, to ensure that his or her every want, desire and needs are satisfied? Who is the one person whom you are constantly seeking the opinion of, and desire to promote the most? Well if you think about it, the answer is clear. Frankly speaking, most of us are actually obsessed with ourselves.
Sometimes it may seem that we spend every waking moment trying to please and gratify our desires. Seldom would anyone or anything else come close in importance to ourselves. We have become a society that is extremely concerned with advancing self, often at the expense of others.
This is exactly what Paul warned against in 2 Timothy 3, where he talked about the signs of the perilous times in the last days. First in the list, was how men shall become ‘lovers of their own selves’ and ‘lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’. Clearly, this is something that we are often guilty of. We place the wants and desires of ourselves first before God, seeking our own pleasure more than the pleasure of God. We spend our time pursuing after our own ambitions and dreams, seeking to be the lord of our own lives. As a result, we no longer care about the will of God in our lives and no longer desire to glorify Him. In so doing, we have broken the first commandment – we have become our own god, and the Lord God takes a distant second.
Instead, what we ought to do is to deny ourselves, to take up the cross and follow Jesus. To deny self means to put aside our sinful lust and desires, and no longer give in to the flesh and what we want. We cannot be lovers of pleasure and self, and at the same time try to think that we can worship God. Either one has to go. Which will you chose?
Thought: Without knowing it, I may have become my own idol!
Prayer: Lord, help me to deny myself, and follow after You.